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How to use Apple Watch Low Power Mode

Less time on the charger means more time on your wrist.
By
November 7, 2022

We’ll be the first to admit that Apple smartwatches offer pretty dismal battery life. Luckily, Apple introduced Low Power Mode so users can eke out a bit more use between charges. Find out how to activate Low Power Mode on your device.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Apple’s smartwatches

QUICK ANSWER

To initiate Low Power Mode, swipe up on your watch face and tap the current battery percentage. Tap the toggle next to Low Power Mode, then tap Turn On.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Does your Apple Watch have a reduced power mode?

An Apple Watch SE 2 displays its quick menu with Low Power Mode enabled.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

It very likely does! Apple introduced Low Power Mode in the watchOS 9 software update that launched alongside the company’s latest flagship device. Fortunately, the update is compatible with all Apple Watches Series 4 or newer. If you have not already updated your device to the latest software, doing so is easy right from the wrist.

Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch and tap General, then tap Software Update. If there is an update available, tap Install. For more detailed directions, see our dedicated guide.

How to activate Low Power Mode on any Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch will automatically prompt you to initiate Low Power Mode if your battery drops to 10%. Likewise, Low Power Mode turns off automatically when your battery is charged to at least 80% unless you set the device into Low Power Mode for a period of days. The easiest way to activate Low Power Mode manually is right on the device itself.

  • Swipe up on your Apple Watch face to access the quick menu.
  • Tap your current battery life percentage.
  • Review the on-screen Low Power Mode information and tap Turn On, or Turn On For… If you select Turn On For, tap the length of time you would like to run Low Power Mode (On for 1 Day, On for 2 Days, or On for 3 Days).

Alternatively, you can also initiate Low Power Mode from your Settings menu.

  • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  • Scroll down to and tap Battery
  • Scroll down and tap the toggle next to Low Power Mode to access the same options as above.

If you frequently use your Apple Watch to record exercise, you can also enable Low Power Mode to automatically start when you begin a workout.

  • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
  • Scroll down to and tap Workout.
  • Tap the toggle next to Low Power Mode.

With an Apple Watch SE 2022, Apple Watch Series 8, or Apple Watch Ultra, users can opt to preserve even more battery life during workouts with reduced GPS and heart rate readings. This option can be enabled from the same Workout settings screen. Tap the toggle next to Fewer GPS and Heart Rate Readings.

How much does Low Power Mode affect performance?

An Apple Watch SE 2 on a user's wrists displays a yellow circle on the watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Generally, speaking, Low Power likely doesn’t change your day-to-day usage. You can still use all your favorite tools and apps. According to Apple, the power-saving setting disables the following features:

  • Always-on display
  • Irregular rhythm heart rate notifications
  • High/low heart rate notifications
  • Background heart rate measurements
  • Background blood oxygen measurements
  • Start workout reminder

Low Power Mode can also impact the speed of other features such as making a phone call or posing Siri queries. You may notice fewer updates to your watch face complications and scrolling that is less smooth, though that hasn’t been our experience. If your phone is not close by, Low Power Mode also disables Wi-Fi and cellular connections as well as incoming calls and notifications.


Read more: Common Apple Watch problems and solutions

FAQs

Unfortunately, the Apple Watch Series 3 is not compatible with watchOS 9 and therefore can not offer Low Power Mode.

The yellow circle at the top of an Apple Watch face indicates the device is in Low Power Mode.